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AusPharm news

Pharmacists division of APESMA - yes we do understand : 21/07/2009 :


PDA president Geoff March responds to criticism of PDA's move to be part of CPA negotiations.

Thank you for the opportunity to talk through some of the issues surrounding community pharmacy. It is pleasing that APESMA is able to stimulate some much needed debate.

Mr Plunkett has claimed that APESMA doesn't understand the role of the Community Pharmacy Agreement (CPA). Unfortunately we are only too aware of it.

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Union asks for input; PSA says 'you don't understand'; Guild says 'Show us your membership' : 20/07/2009 :

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has criticised the Pharmacists' Division of APESMA's (PDA) move to gather comments from employee pharmacists for input into the negotiations for the next Community Pharmacy Agreement  (CPA), saying it does not understand the CPA process. The Pharmacy Guild has called for PDA to disclose how many paid up members it has.

PDA is asking employee community pharmacists to complete an online survey to inform a submission to government on the next Community Pharmacy Agreement.

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RGH E-Bulletin: Glucosamine in osteoarthritis: Update of the evidence : 20/07/2009 :

"In an earlier E-Bulletin (Glucosamine for osteoarthritis, 5(1) February 2002), available evidence at the time provided support for the use of glucosamine in treating pain and immobility associated with OA and suggested a potential role in disease-modification. Since this time, further studies and meta-analyses have failed to fully consolidate this position."

Click here to read this E-Bulletin in full. The E-Bulletins are archived on the AusPharm website here.




NAPSA elects new executive : 20/07/2009 :

Jacqui Carbines has been elected President of The National Australian Pharmacy Students' Association (NAPSA)  for the 2009/10 term. Jacqui is a third year pharmacy student at Griffith University and has been NAPSA Publications Committee Chair and Congress Organising Committee Chair for the past 18 months.

Jacqui was elected at the recent NAPSA Annual General Meeting, held on the Gold Coast from July 10th to 12th.

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PBS schedule August 2009 : 20/07/2009 :

 The PBS schedule and the 'Summary of Changes' for 1 August 2009 are now available on the AusPharmacist.net.au web site.

The full PBS schedule is a pdf file of about 3mb. To save the file locally, e.g. onto your Desktop, 'Right click' then 'Save... as...' (the wording varies between browsers).

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PAC: Securing Your Practice Advantage : 19/07/2009 :

The annual Pharmacy Australia Congress will this year focus on the theme of Securing Your Practice Advantage, and has attracted international and national keynote speakers who will address the subject with professional, practical and personal views on how best to securing such an advantage.

In addition, PAC will showcase products and services which delegates can inspect and discuss while choosing from a comprehensive conference program covering Therapeutic Updates, Advanced Clinical Practice and for the first time, Credentialed CPA Practice Programs.

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Advice that matters : 17/07/2009 :

During the APP conference in March 2008, the Guild Group began a project to collect and share Advice That Matters for pharmacists around Australia. They asked pharmacists to draw on their experience and share their words of wisdom with the next generation. The process was continued through competitions that ran at the Guild Group trade stand at major pharmacy events since then.

The Advice That Matters booklet draws together some of the pearls of wisdom collected - the quotes in speech bubbles throughout the book are from real pharmacists and other professionals in the industry, along with a couple of memorable quotes for good measure.

The Advice That Matters booklet is available online here.




Poll result: employee pharmacist wages and conditions : 17/07/2009 :

This week's poll aimed to try and get a handle on what employee pharmacists are being paid around the country. In doing this we defined what kind of pharmacist we were talking about (here).

The result (n=283), shown below, tells us that 73% of employee pharmacists earn between $30 and $40 an hour ('casual' rate, excludes superannuation). Looking at the graph, the estimated median (red dot) is about $38. This is 5%-10% lower than the outcome produced by the 2007/08 Pharmacists Division of APESMA survey.

What does it all mean? As always with these polls the possible interpretations are many and we'll leave it to 'listers to comment.

Next week, we'll run another wages related poll asking 'listers what our 'average' pharmacist SHOULD be paid.

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Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD) Program : 17/07/2009 :

The Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD) Program is a volunteer sending program which aims to send skilled Australian citizens aged 18-30 on assignments throughout Asia and the Pacific for 3-12 months. The Program is fully funded by AusAID, the government’s overseas aid agency. The Youth Ambassadors receive a living and accommodation allowance whilst on assignment, plus we cover all airfares, medicals and pre-departure training.

The assignments we offer cover a diverse range of sectors including Education, Environment, Gender, Governance, Health Infrastructure, Rural Development and Trades.

AYAD will be holding information sessions in all Australian capital cities and some regional centres during August. To check the dates and times of the information session closest to you and register your interest click here or Freecall 1800 225 592.




PAC free for pharmacy assistants : 16/07/2009 :

A complimentary Pharmacy Assistants Program will be held at this year's Pharmacy Australia Congress in Sydney between 9am and 2pm on Saturday, 17 October and Sunday, 18 October. The program is currently being finalised and will be available on the PAC website soon. While at the conference pharmacy assistants can attend other sessions on either day.

Pharmacy assistants and other pharmacy staff need to register before the conference and can do this here.




Queensland announces mandatory PSE reporting with Project STOP : 16/07/2009 :

The Queensland Government yesterday announced mandatory real-time electronic reporting of sales of all products containing pseudoephedrine through Queensland’s community pharmacies.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Paul Lucas and Minister for Police, Corrective Services and Emergency Services Neil Roberts made the PSE announcement in Brisbane at a press conference attended by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s National President, Kos Sclavos (click the photo to see a larger version).

Also yesterday, the Guild president repeated his call for the Project STOP techonology to be adapted to include codeine based OTCs and prescription products subject to doctor shopping.

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Kevin Sheedy to Coach in WA : 16/07/2009 :

Kevin Sheedy, the holder of the AFL record for the most games combined as a player and coach, will speak at the formal close of proceedings of the Pharmacy WA 2009 industry forum on 7-8 August.

Maintaining the theme of STANDING TOGETHER Kevin will ‘coach’ Forum delegates on overcoming adversity and meeting challenges, encouraging staff and management to think outside the square for company and personal pride.

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WHO Patient Safety Small Research Grants : 16/07/2009 :

The World Health Organisation has called for applications for the 2009 Small Research Grants Program.

The grants program has been set up to stimulate research on patient safety priority areas by providing seed funding for small research projects. In addition, it is envisaged that the initiative will contribute to building local research capacity and will help raise awareness about patient safety. The programme focuses on applied research. Applications that attempt to identify local solutions, or evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of existing solutions are especially welcomed.

Details are on the WHO website here. A list of projects funded in 2008 is here. Applications close on September 30.




Poll: employee pharmacist wages : 15/07/2009 :

Yes, we know, how can we possibly account for all the variables? Anyway......

Today's poll, following on from recent AusPharmList discussion on pharmacist wages and conditions, will try and get a handle on what employee pharmacists are being paid around the country. For the sake of this poll let's take it as given that:

&&:  we're talking about an 'average' registered pharmacist, a few years out of Uni at least with nothing too special about their job. They do scripts, counsel patients and perhaps do a bit of PMP and DMAS as well. They may be pharmacist in charge and/or the sole pharmacist on duty but they aren't the manager/boss
&&:  the hourly rate is 'all in', ie DOES include a 20% casual loading in lieu of holiday and sick pay
&&:  the hourly rate referred to is the 'day' rate NOT the after hours or weekend rate
&&:  the hourly rate does NOT include superannuation
&&:  we're talking full time/part time NOT locum wages.

We've worded the actual poll question so that anyone can answer, employee,  employer or anyone else, for that matter, who knows the answer.

Please tick the appropriate box at left and feel free to post to AusPharmList if the rate in your area is unusually high or low or some other confounder applies.

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Qld Board Research Grants : 15/07/2009 :

In 2008, the Pharmacists Board of Queensland awarded over $180,000 in research funding to three projects aimed at improving pharmacy practice and health outcomes in Queensland.

Once again in 2009 the Board is offering research grants in a number of categories including Novice Researcher and Early Career Researcher.

More information as well as application forms and grant guidelines are available on the Board website.




RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin Addendum : 15/07/2009 :

Further to the distribution of the RGH E-Bulletin 34-11 on Monday 13th July 2009: Please note that when administered for the management of osteoporosis, zoledronic acid (Aclasta® 5 mg) is administered by intravenous infusion, at a frequency of once every 12 months.




Connectivity between health providers one step closer? : 15/07/2009 :

In an out-of-session communique, the Australian Health Ministers’ Conference has announced that the first step has been taken towards a national e-health system.

National consultations are set to begin on the legislative framework to underpin the governance, privacy and agreed uses for national healthcare identifier numbers essential to a secure national e-health system.

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$10.7M Available to Reduce Indigenous Smoking Rates : 15/07/2009 :

The federal government has made funding available for proposals to assist Indigenous communities promote smoke-free messages in areas of highest need – areas with higher than average smoking rates and where no programs currently exist.

The Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery, Warren Snowdon, said Indigenous rates of smoking have sat at 49 percent for a decade, and the $10.7 million will be spent on community-based projects that provide culturally-appropriate, effective anti-smoking messages and campaigns.

More information about the Indigenous Tobacco Control Initiative can be found here.




The case of the disappearing teaspoons: longitudinal cohort study of the displacement of teaspoons in an Australian research institute : 14/07/2009 :

On a quiet day for pharmacy news 'listers might like to have a look a this original piece of research published in the BMJ a few years back......

The aim of the study was to determine the overall rate of loss of workplace teaspoons and whether attrition and displacement are correlated with the relative value of the teaspoons or type of tearoom. Results included that 80% of the  teaspoons disappeared during the study with the half life of the teaspoons being 81 days. The authors concluded that the loss of workplace teaspoons was rapid, showing that their availability, and hence office culture in general, is constantly threatened.

Read the paper in full on the BMJ website here.




Pharmspace09 a popular web destination : 14/07/2009 :

Australia's first fully live and interactive Expo and Careers Fair, Pharmspace09, opened on July 1st and will run through until the end of the month. 

Over 1000 people visited the event online in the first 24 hours, with thousands more visiting over the past 10 days.

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